The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation contributed US$300 million in dividends and royalties from its joint mining activities across the country in a year, becoming the Government's most reliable cash cow.
Most of the funds were realised from operations at the Marange diamond fields, dealing a major blow to claims mainly from the MDC formations that the country is not benefiting from the resource.
In his address at a two-day Zimbabwe Mining Indaba officially opened by Vice President John Nkomo in Harare yesterday, ZMDC chairman Mr Godwills Masimirembwa said the parastatal was ready to contribute more in dividends and royalties to Government.
"Since August 2011, we have paid Government over US$300 million in dividends and royalties and we will continue to improve," he said.
The ZMDC is an investment arm of Government and holds title to a large portfolio of minerals including platinum, gold, iron ore and copper.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu, who also attended the mining indaba, applauded the ZMDC for its significant contribution to the fiscus.
"The ZMDC is the only parastatal that declares dividends to Government on a monthly basis," he said.
Minister Mpofu invited Zimbabweans with interest in mining to come forward and enter into joint venture agreements with the ZMDC.
"The ZMDC, which usually holds 51 percent shareholding on behalf of Government, is an investment arm of Government.
"It warehouses shares for the people of Zimbabwe. They are the people's shares.
"If people organise themselves into a consortium they can approach the ZMDC for joint venture agreements," Minister Mpofu said.
He was reacting to a concern from delegates who wanted to know why Government appeared to favour foreign investors when choosing mining partners for the ZMDC.
Meanwhile, Government has vowed not to lift a ban on chrome ore exports with Minister Mpofu saying the country was not realising any benefits from such activities.
"When we lifted the ban of chrome exports there was a rush to move mountains out of Zimbabwe. I do not think we will re-consider that (lifting of the ban). It was clear that they (chrome miners) were doing it for other people," he said.
Government imposed a ban on chrome ore exports in April last year in a move meant to promote value addition.
The announcement by Minister Mpofu deals a blow to efforts by small-scale miners to have the ban removed.